Last week Apple issued an apology following the company’s admission that they intentionally slow down older iPhones to save battery life. The company gave a public apology to its customers and offered a discount on new batteries for anyone with an iPhone 6 model or later that needs a replacement. The battery, which normally costs $79, had been brought down to $29 to appease the “battery gate” fiasco. Reports say Apple has now tried to sweeten the deal and will offer replacement batteries even if the phone passes their Genius Bar diagnostic test and proves it can retain more than 80% of its original capacity.
The discounted batteries come in lew of several lawsuits from customers in states including California, New York, and Illinois, as well as customers in Israel and France. The apology followed the company’s admission that it ‘throttles’ phones to extend their life and stop them from shutting down as batteries age and become less effective. The apology opened up with the statement “’We know that some of you feel Apple has let you down,” followed by their plan to show users exactly how much their battery has degraded. “First and foremost, we have never — and would never — do anything to intentionally shorten the life of any Apple product, or degrade the user experience to drive customer upgrades,” Apple stated. “Our goal has always been to create products that our customers love, and making iPhones last as long as possible is an important part of that.” Early in 2018, it will issue an iOS software update with new features that give users more visibility into the health of their iPhone’s battery, so they can see for themselves if its condition is affecting the phone’s performance. The affected iPhone models include the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone SE, iPhone 7 and the iPhone 7 Plus. Apple said it would eventually fix the battery problem in recently released models (the iPhone 8 and iPhone X) through an iOS update this year.
But many are skeptical as to Apple’s explanation as to why they slow down old iPhones, with competitors coming out to refute the idea that it is a necessary precaution to elongating battery life. It’s also been stated by Apple that it isn’t just the speed iPhones lose during these updates, its official list includes dimmed displays, reduced speaker volume and even disabling the camera flash. Apple’s response has been to claim it’s for the overall benefit of its customers and that the practice of slowing down iPhones through updates is a feature for prolonging battery life that the company plans to continue. Again, Apple’s biggest rivals are making a point to stress such action isn’t necessary and Samsung even promises 95% battery capacity retention for a minimum of two years.
To avoid more backlash, Apple will replace your iPhone battery even if it passes the diagnostic test that determines whether a device can hold 80% of its original battery capacity (after 500 complete charging cycles). That means even if a brand new iPhone X owner wants to get their phone’s battery replaced, they could do so for just $29 ($50 cheaper than what it would have originally cost them). The discount will only be available for one year, so many iPhone owners are choosing to take advantage of the replacement battery opportunity closer to its expiration. Apple may not offer a replacement if it discovers other damage on your device or finds third-party components, however, so make sure you qualify. Reports are also suggesting that customers who paid to have their batteries replaced before the discount offer are eligible and can request a refund from Apple. Apple users can even run a diagnostics test remotely so you don’t need to visit an Apple store. They’re also offering a battery replacement if you ship your phone to them, but this requires 7-9 business days on their end.
You can now make an appointment at Apple Genius Bar to replace your iPhone battery, but good luck finding a place that has any openings. You can also send your phone to Apple to have them replace it and mail it back to you.https://t.co/y1chOLCQiN
— Chey e-Cobb (@chey_cobb) January 4, 2018
Some say Apple is at serious risk of seeing a decline in sales and several customers switching to rival devices, especially after Android competitors such as Samsung denied using the same questionable battery-management practices. Reports say all Apple stores should have received the clarification via an internal memo, which states that customers who replaced their batteries at the previous $79 price are eligible for refunds.
Apple was hit with numerous lawsuits after admitting it slows down devices with aging batteries to prevent them from shutting down, but people say it’s their fragile customer base that the company is most afraid of losing, hence the damage control. Apple has desperately been looking for ways to win its users back and some say the discounted battery replacement might not be the only one customers will see in the future. Not only did Apple remedy the situation with a public apology, discounted batteries and now battery replacements to iPhone 6 & up owners who don’t even need it, but the company has also started offering its discounted repairs days before the original January kick-off date.
“We expected to need more time to be ready, but we are happy to offer our customers the lower pricing right away,” Apple said in a statement. “Initial supplies of some replacement batteries may be limited.” Some customers who have already attempted to take Apple up on their offer, however, say not to expect to change your battery without a wait. If you want to upgrade your iPhone battery, many are saying to expect to have to wait for several weeks. When a Washington Post columnist tried to upgrade his iPhone’s battery, he wrote that “thousands of other customers” were already ahead of him, and he would have to join a weeks-long waiting list. The columnist also reported on Twitter that an Apple Genius bar worker predicted that Apple’s battery stock levels “may not be back to normal until summer.” Good luck, everyone!
This is the Apple store line in Sacramento for Genius Bar appointments for iPhone battery replacement. Swing and a miss, Apple. pic.twitter.com/I0MjnYPL1a
— Tracie Cone (@Tracie_Cone) January 2, 2018
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